June 19 – A day at Beachy Head Lighthouse and a visit to Pevensey Castle

10 Geocaches including an earthcache

Hi from Gillian and Michael

Today we spent all day to drive from Burgess Hill to Hastings even though it is only an hours drive. I am sure that we could have taken several days to get there. Everyone travels on the A roads to get from A to B as soon as possible but that is not for us at all.

We turned off to Alfriston where we have been before and then on to Friston, Seaford and up to the Seve Sisters where there are seven white chalk cliffs by the sea. Wat a view that is! We walked right up to Beachy Head lighthouse and there were lots of people there as it was a lovely day. Then we drove along the cliffs until we reached Pevensey Castle.

At the Church of the Transfiguration in Pyecombe, we found our sixth church micro.  We wanted to go into the church but it was Sunday. Then we realised that there was a man mowing the lawns so probably the church was open and it was. The entrance to the churchyard had a tapsel gate which is a wooden gate, unique to Sussex, which has a central pivot so that it can rotate through 90 degrees in either direction before coming to a stop at two fixed points.. It was named after a family of bell-founders, one of whom invented it in the late 18th century. The church is a 12th and 13th century Grade 1 listed building made from flint.

At Friston, we saw a medieval pond which is mentioned in the Domesday Book as belonging to the Lords of Etchingham and Peak Dean Manor. The church of St Mary the Virgin in Friston has a Norman nave with some Saxon work in the north wall with a 15th-century timbered roof. It had a lovely alabaster and grey marble wall monument to Sir Thomas and Elizabeth Selwyn made by sculptor Isaac James in around 1613. It also had a memorial brass dedicated to them. There was a great view out over the South Downs.

We stopped briefly at the Seven Sisters car park which was a pay and display car park costing £2.60 for 2 hours. There were caches there but we were not yet used to pay and display and we were not willing to pay. We did five more geocaches after parking in The Beachy Head National Trust car park for free, including our first UK earthcache. Our last geocache for the day was St John the Evangelist on St Johns Rd in Eastbourne. Our first of a great many church micros we were to do in Eastbourne.

At Pevensey Castle, an English Heritage site, we used the handset to learn all about the castle. The walls were Roman but each generation has added to it – Saxons, Normans, Elizabethans…. Even during WWII Americans and Canadians were based there and there are modern gun emplacements. Pevensey is where William the Conqueror is said to have landed before marching the ten miles to Battle. There are, of course, many different opinions on where William landed which is true of all the details of the battle.

At the end of the day, we arrived at our first ever housesit in Alexandra Park in Hastings for Kerry, and Colin the cat. Kerry is a lovely Australian lady with a business in London and we chatted happily. We would be there for nine days which gave us the opportunity to meet people and to see if we can arrange accommodation for the time of the exhibition. Colin was a very independent fellow who does not mind us being around. He had a cat flap so could come and go as he wished but he still preferred me to open the door for him. LOL. The house was Victorian and was originally built with its next-door neighbour as homes for the water board employees. There was a big kitchen with a small lounge and a bigger dining room and a bathroom downstairs with three bedrooms upstairs. We were very happy there and Colin became very affectionate and loved to sit on our laps while we watched TV.